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    Category: At The Checkout

    The customer has seemed normal and maybe even intelligent throughout the shopping purchase. But then they get to the checkout and as soon as human interaction is required it all falls apart. The checkout operators really are our first line of defense against the stupid customer!

    Mom Is Breaking Bad Habits

    | Australia | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (I am serving a customer who is purchasing over $600 worth of clothing and accessories for her son’s upcoming 21st birthday, as well as making an exchange on his behalf.)

    Me: “Okay. Was there anything else before I process the exchange?”

    Customer: “No. Here you go!”

    (She hands me the bag with the original item. As I remove it from the bag, an obviously used meth pipe falls onto the counter.)

    Me: *in disbelief* “Um…”

    Customer: “Oh, my God! What is that?”

    Me: “Um, it’s a pipe…”

    Customer: “A pipe? Like a smoking pipe? What is it for?”

    Me: *I pause, unsure of how to break it to her*

    Customer: “Is it for marijuana?!”

    (By now she is already visibly flustered, looking incredibly angry, and, most of all, mortified. I decide not to tell her what it really is, in fear of her having a heart attack in front of me.)

    Me: “Yeah. It’s for marijuana.”

    Customer: “I’m going to kill him! What else is he doing? Oh, my God. I’m so embarrassed!”

    Me: “He’s obviously got a lot of explaining to do?”

    Customer: “I’ll have to confront him about this. Who knows if he’ll be getting anything at all for his birthday?!”

    (To my surprise, she actually still purchased everything. I do wonder if her son confessed to what he was actually smoking!)

    Putting The Situation On To A Knife-Edge

    | Canada | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I am a customer at a party store, picking up a Halloween costume. The store sells not only costumes, but also toys, props, things for pranks, etc. As I’m getting ready to leave, a gruff-looking customer enters and marches up to the counter.)

    Customer: *pulls out a gun and aims it at the cashier* “Give me all the money or I’ll blow your f****** head off!”

    (Frightened, the cashier starts doing as told, while the other customers are shocked and unmoving. I recognize the gun as not real, but sadly the cashier does not. The customer isn’t paying attention to me. I sneak over to a shelf, pick up a certain item, and quietly remove it from its packaging while he keeps yelling. Eventually, I sneak up behind him.)

    Customer: “Hurry the f*** up! I don’t have all f****** d—”

    (I suddenly shove the stage knife I have unpackaged against his throat from behind.)

    Me: “Drop the gun or I swear to god I will slit your throat right here and now!”

    (Shaking, the man slowly puts the gun on the counter. I grab it with my free hand, just in case. The cashier calls the police, and when they arrive, she explains what happened to them. They arrest the man.)

    Me: “Hey. Before you take him away can I show him something?”

    Officer: “I don’t see why not.”

    (I hold up the fake knife, turn it, and plunge it into my stomach. The fake blade retracts into the handle and does nothing to me. I show him the knife again, and his eyes widen.)

    Me: *in a singsong tone* “Plastic!”

    (The customer was taken away looking both embarrassed and ticked off. The cashier let me keep the fake knife and gave me a discount on the costume I had come in to purchase. All in all, a good day!)

    Slow To Register, Part 2

    | OH, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid

    (We have a self checkout section. Sometimes one of the units won’t take money and will only accept cards. When it happens we put up a bright lime neon green sign stating that. A customer comes up to one of these units, then rips the sign off because it was blocking the slot to put his money in.)

    Me: “Sir, the unit doesn’t take money.”

    Customer: “Where does it say that?”

    Me: “On the sign you just ripped down.”

    Customer: “I didn’t read it.”

    Me: “Clearly.”

    (I have to take the cash and use the register at the podium because the customer has no other way of paying. I put the bright lime neon green sign back up and then put another over the main screen saying ‘Beep Boop Beep Beep Is Robot For “Does Not Take Cash.”’)

    Related:
    Slow To Register

    This Diet Is Really Going Against The Grain

    | MN, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Theme Of The Month

    Customer: “Excuse me. You used to stock a drink in the cooler. It was tea. It had no carbs.”

    Me: “I’m sorry. We probably don’t have any more. Sometimes they cycle out drinks that don’t sell very well.”

    Customer: “It was tea. It had no carbs.”

    Me: “I think I know the one you’re thinking of. If it’s not in there, then we’re out. We have some iced tea brewed up if you would like to try that.”

    Customer: “How do I know that it doesn’t have carbs?”

    Me: “I brewed it myself. I can promise you that there are no carbs.”

    Customer: “I want the other tea! You know that soda in there has 33 carbs! You should really stock more options for customers who don’t want to have so many carbs.”

    Me: “I’d be happy to give you some of our iced tea, or some water.”

    Customer: “Ugh! I don’t want any of that. I want the old tea.”

    Me: “Sorry! Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

    Customer: “Yes! I’ll have a large cookie.”

    Six Red Flags

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers

    (Two customers come to my register with two baskets overflowing with groceries. They’re accompanied by four children between the ages of 4 and 11. The carts are loaded to overflowing with baby food and formula, diapers, expensive meats, cheese, beer, wine, sodas, and lots of frozen meals. They are extremely friendly and lay on the endearments quite heavily.)

    Me: “So, did you find everything okay tonight, folks?”

    Customer #1: “Oh, honey! Bless you! You bet we did, baby!”

    Customer #2: “Woooo! More than everything! Look at these steaks! These are gonna be great!”

    (The customers and their eldest two children load the first cart onto the belt. They take it, empty, to the end of my register to bag and load their groceries, since I don’t have a bagger. After several minutes, I finish ringing them up.)

    Me: “Okay. Your total comes to [large, triple digit sum]. How would you like to pay that today?”

    Customer #1: “By check. Let me write it up for you, honey.”

    (As the first customer writes the check, the rest of the group finishes packing the groceries. She finishes writing the check and hands it to me.)

    Me: “Okay, great. Can I see your ID to confirm a few details?”

    Customer #1: “Sure, honey. Sure.”

    (She opens her wallet and flips to the clear ID panel. The driver’s license inside looks really wrong.)

    Me: “Sorry. Do you mind if I remove the ID from the plastic to see it better?”

    Customer #1: “No, baby! Go ahead, sweetie! Help yourself!”

    Me: “Okay. Ah. Do you have another form of identification, ma’am?”

    Customer #1: “What’d you say, honey?”

    Me: “Another form of ID? A driver’s license or something?”

    Customer #1: “Honey, that IS my driver’s license.”

    Me: “Actually, no, ma’am. It’s a Six Flags ID. See? The back here says ‘not government issued ID’ and the ‘Texas’ holograms are just gold puff paint.”

    Customer #1: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. That right there IS my real ID, baby!”

    Me: “And your check has a few routing numbers scratched out—”

    (The customer suddenly snatches the check and ID out of my hands. The whole group bolts for the exit as I call for a manager. He commends me on catching them out and gets staff to put the items in the freezer for the time being. A few minutes later, I get a phone call on my register.)

    Me: “Hello. This is [Store Name], register 12. [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

    Cashier: “Hey, [My Name]. Can you get me [Assistant Manager]? I’ve got someone trying to pass a bogus check on gas and soda out here.”

    Me: “Does she have [Name] tattooed across her chest in a script font?”

    Cashier: “That’s her.”

    Me: “Stall her. Tell her the check’s jammed in the machine or something. I’m sending him out.”

    (I call the same assistant manager as before. The acting unit manager, loss prevention member, and the assistant manager book it out the door to the parking lot. By the time they arrive, the customer and her group had made a run for it, leaving the stolen check and fake ID behind. Police are called. We are questioned, and then told that the woman has no fewer than three warrants out for her arrest.)


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